Gilson Creek, Maine is a town with a history of lycanthropy. A werewolf has killed before and now he’s back for more mayhem. An early, brief scene where the hero, Sheriff Joe Fischer, recollects the history of the town’s old, abandoned cemetery is quite effective and evocative.
The revelation of the werewolf’s identity came shortly after I had guessed it. That identity is a bit different from the usual suspects in books of this sort.
The story begins with the monster on the loose under a full moon. Right from the beginning, the werewolf kills four people in one night. The next few weeks give us a respite from blood and gore, but that allows Rolfe to establish his characters and relationships.
Then, as the moon comes full once more, the book charges full steam into murder and mayhem. But this time it’s going to be twice as bad. There’s action throughout this book, but it seriously gets going as the lycanthropic horrors are unleashed in the rain. The book zooms into one bloody scene after another and the bodies are piled high as we reach the bloody climax.
Two things keep the book from achieving five stars. First, there’s a whole town full of characters in this book, and we’re supposed to keep track of all of them. They mostly have Anglo names without much distinction. If a character hadn’t appeared for a chapter I had to stop and try to recall who he or she was. At times I felt as if I should make a list or draw a chart.
Secondly, the werewolf in this story is particularly fond of tearing off parts of a body, only to throw them away. He kills lots of people, but never takes a single bite out of them. Unlike a wolf, he’s not killing for food; he kills because he’s just that mean. That seems to be his only motivation, except maybe hoping to get everyone in town to hunt him down and kill him.
But those are the only problems I have with this story. “Blood and Rain” is a good book with likeable characters and terrific action scenes. There’s a good use of language here; nothing flowery, just good solid narrative with no spelling or grammar errors. Pick it up.